01/16/2019

News

The economy is booming. Why are so many California schools broke?

Facing a $36 million deficit and a possible state takeover, the top budget officer at the Sacramento City Unified School District has a sober message for his counterparts around California. Sacramento is “just one of the first dominoes,” said John Quinto, the district’s chief business officer. By any measure, Sacramento City’s distress is worse than […]

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California cedes water to feds in Delta deal with Trump

Southern Californians could lose billions of gallons of water a year to Central Valley farmers under a deal Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has struck with water officials working for President Donald Trump. There’s no guarantee the agreement with Trump will accomplish what Brown’s team is seeking: a lasting compromise on environmental regulations that could stave […]

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If California’s economy favors the educated, why do the poor earn fewer degrees?

Possessing a college degree in California is more valuable than ever. It often indicates whether someone has a stable job and if their employer offers paid vacation or health benefits. For many, the degree is the difference between poverty and the middle class. And its value, since at least 2000, has only increased year after […]

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Jerry Brown predicts ‘fiscal oblivion’ if pensions are off limits for government employers

Gov. Jerry Brown warned this week that public agencies in California are on a track to “fiscal oblivion” if they’re barred from adjusting retirement benefits for their employees. He issued the warning in an interview with The Sacramento Bee three weeks after his attorneys defended his 2012 pension law at the California Supreme Court against […]

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California unemployment rate holds steady at 4.1 percent

California’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent in November. The state Employment Development Department said Friday that employers added 30,700 nonfarm payroll jobs last month. Nine industry sectors added jobs while two reported job losses. California’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in November 2017.

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Sac City Unified school district says it will be broke in November 2019

The Sacramento City Unified School District announced Wednesday it expects to run out of cash by November 2019 after months of financial crisis. In a statement sent to the community, the district said unless major savings are found, it will be unable to pay employees and make necessary purchases. The statement suggested that moving forward […]

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California shifts water from farms, cities to fish. But a Jerry Brown compromise plan isn’t dead

Despite an epic last-minute compromise brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown, state water regulators voted Wednesday to reallocate billions of gallons of San Joaquin River water from farms and cities to revive struggling fish populations. After hours of testimony, the State Water Resources Control board voted to deliver hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from […]

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Housing in the Central Valley is changing. But not necessarily for the better.

The Central Valley is slowly becoming a society of renters. New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that many counties have seen double-digit growth in renter-occupied households and only modest gains in homeownership — if not single-digit declines since 2011. In the period between 2011 and 2017, the number of owner-occupied homes in the […]

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California moves to raise sales tax collections from out-of-state retailers

Shoppers looking for a bargain by skipping California sales tax will soon close a loophole that let them buy goods from out-of-state online retailers without immediately paying local taxes. That deal ends on April 1 for thousands of out-of-state online retailers that will be required to collect California sales tax for the first time, according […]

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Free community college could soon be a reality in California

Californians could soon get two years of community college for free, enough to earn an associate’s degree. In 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California College Promise, waiving the first year of community college tuition for full-time students. Assembly Bill 2, announced Tuesday, would add a second year to that program. “When […]

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Labor pushes to protect California ruling that redefines who is an employee

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, will introduce legislation to add to state law a stricter “ABC test” for defining employees. The test, adopted unanimously by the California Supreme Court this spring, threw nearly three decades of legal precedent up in the air and generated intense pushback from the business community. The bill would strengthen […]

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More California kids would attend preschool under push in Legislature

Democrats return to the California Capitol on Monday with their strongest political advantage in decades poised to fulfill a huge item on their list of pent-up demands: Vastly expanded access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. Their plan comes with a big price tag, a problem that has doomed past proposals, most recently with outgoing […]

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Huge Delta water deal backed by Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Kevin McCarthy

California’s most senior Democrat and most powerful Republican in Washington are teaming up to extend a federal law designed to deliver more Northern California water south, despite the objections of some of the state’s environmentalists. While controversial, the language in their proposal could help settle the contentious negotiations currently underway in Sacramento on Delta water […]

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California’s state budget is so flush words can’t describe it

Gov. Jerry Brown’s parting gift to Gov. elect Gavin Newsom is a state budget so flush with unrestricted tax revenue that top fiscal analysts struggled to find the right words to describe it. “The budget is in remarkably good shape,” reads the annual fiscal outlook by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. “It is difficult to overstate […]

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California unemployment rate holds at record low 4.1 percent

California’s unemployment rate held at the record low of 4.1 percent in October. The state Employment Development Department says Friday that employers added 36,400 jobs last month. A year earlier, California’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. The rate hit the record low in September after spending months just a notch higher at 4.2 percent.

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